by Eric Kraus, Russian Insider
The attentive reader will have noted an odd transformation in the Western narrative regarding Russia-China relations – the Bear and Dragon story which the current author has been arguing for over the past 15 years:
Six months ago, the Western media were in unison, laughing off the suggestion that the Bear and Dragon could find an entente – much less a true alliance. The two countries were divided by a difficult history, unbridgeable cultural differences, and divergent economic geostrategic interests. Continue reading The Bear and Dragon Chronicles – Western Myopia
(Business New Europe – bne.eu
– October 21, 2014) – When Russian President Vladimir Putin cut off European Union imports of agricultural products earlier this year, one of the rationales was to give a boost to the badly underdeveloped domestic sector – and it seems to be working. September’s retail and investment numbers were down but agricultural production soared by 16.8% year-on-year in September, according to Rosstat.
“Domestic demand in Russia remained sluggish in September, retail sales, which reflect household consumption, edging up 1.7% year-on-year. This is slightly better than what we saw in summer and puts the nine month tally at 2.3% y-o-y,” Alfa Bank’s chief economist Evgeny Gavrilenkov said in a note on October 20. “Conversely, the agriculture sector posted extremely strong growth of 16.6% year-on-year in September and 7.7% in the first nine months of this year. Combined with strong industrial output growth last month (2.8%), driven by import substitution, this should lead to improvements in basic sector output.”
Continue reading Russian Agricultural Production Soars After Food Sanctions
Iran and Russia plan to establish a joint bank as an effort to multiply bilateral trade and bypass sanctions on the Islamic Republic’s banking sector.
Head of the Iran-Russia Joint Chamber of Commerce Asadollah Asgaroladi said that Tehran and Moscow are studying the possibilities of opening a new chapter in trade relations that could break the domination of Western currencies over bilateral exchanges.
“Since Russian banks fear the implications of working with Iran due to sanctions, we want to establish the joint Iran-Russia bank with the help of our central banks and private sectors,” Asgaroladi said.
“Such a bank would be able to exchange money between the two sides using rials and rubles and put aside dollars, euros and pounds,” he added. Continue reading Iran, Russia Planning To Establish Joint Bank
by Hassan Chakrani, Al-Akhbar English
International politics and direct economic and security interests are not the only thing that brings Russia and Iran closer together. Geographically, both nations are Caspian riparian states. Hidden under the waters of the Caspian is immense natural wealth, which is one of the pillars of potential cooperation between Moscow and Tehran in the context of international conflict. Today, a new round of talks will be held focusing on the Caspian in the framework of broader cooperation.
Strategic interests in the Caspian Sea and Central Asia are at the heart of all analyses involving the Asian nations concerned and the energy tension between East and West. The main two countries concerned are Russia and Iran, even though there are three other Caspian littoral countries – Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan. The problem here is that even today, there is no legal or technical regime to manage interests in the region with the exception of the understandings between Moscow and Tehran, though these are ambiguous and have been sitting in the drawers gathering dust. Continue reading Russian-Iranian Ties: The Caspian Basin Is Where Cooperation Begins